Fandom: Detective Conan
Pairing: Hattori Heiji/Toyama Kazuha
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan or any related characters. They belong to Gosho Aoyama. I simply throw fruit at them, take pictures, and call it modern art. Critics love me.
Summary: The ultimatum was simple. Clean out the attic…or die. Until they found something...
Their father’s ultimatum had been very simple. Clean up the attic a bit…or die.
It was for this reason that twelve-year-old Yukari and her younger sister Tomoe found themselves up in the dusty old attic, attacking the dust with brooms and rags. They didn’t have to go through anything, but simply get rid of the grime.
This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that they’d heard their mother telling their father that she wanted the attic cleaned out. Naturally, part of the task was passed down to the kids. After all, wasn’t that why some people had kids?
Things were going along uneventfully until nine-year-old Tomoe tripped over a box and wound up splayed on the floor. She was unharmed, but the same couldn’t be said for the box she’d stepped on; the cardboard had torn clean apart, spilling some of the box’s contents out on the floor.
Yukari came to her sibling’s side and they began to gather up the mess…and then realized that what they’d found seemed to be some old pictures. Taken by the natural curiosity of children, they began to actually look at the photographs, rather than simply sticking them back in the box.
One picture in particular caught their attention. Unlike many of the others, which were your average event shots, scenery, and smiling people, this one featured two children—a boy and a girl—who seemed to be engaged in a screaming argument. They were both bright-eyed and red-faced, their mouths wide open as they apparently yelled at each other.
A glance at the back of the dusty picture revealed one name—their fathers. But a drop of water or something had apparently hit the second name, blurring it beyond legibility. This left them with the mystery of who Dad was arguing with in the picture. It was a mystery, like the one’s Dad always solved.
Fortunately, they figured that this mystery would have an easy solution.
Clutching the pictures carefully in grubby little hands, the two girls headed down the stairs. They found their father in the kitchen, sitting at the table with his newspaper wide open in his hands. “Dad! Dad!” Yukari grabbed her father’s arm and gave it a shake to make certain she had his attention.
He lowered his paper and smiled indulgently at his daughters. “What’s up?”
“We found this in the attic!” Yukari thrust the photograph at her father. “I know it’s you, but who’s the girl? And what are you fighting about?”
He took the photo and looked at it carefully. “Wow…I haven’t seen this in years…this is me, actually, when I was around your ages. And that girl was someone I’ve known for a very long time.”
“Tell us! Tell us!” Tomoe pleaded.
“Have you two finished the attic?”
“We’ll do it after the story! Break time! Tell us now!” Yukari said firmly. They even sat down, just to drive home that they weren’t leaving until they’d heard the story about this mysterious picture.
Heaving a mock-sigh, he caved. “All right, all right. The girl in the picture was a girl I went to school with. We’d known each other since we were little—we used to argue all the time.”
“What did you argue about?” Yukari asked.
“Anything and everything—we almost had a talent for coming up with ways to fight about the most pointless things. We were always calling each other names and picking on each other. I think we even got into a few physical fights!”
“You hit a girl?” Yukari gaped.
“Just once—and I got in big trouble for it,” he whispered. “Didn’t do that again. So we usually kept it to more verbal arguments. Lots of yelling and screaming and name-calling. And don't tell anyone, but I always won." He winked, the girls giggled."That’s what this picture is, actually. Your grandmother took this—that’s her handwriting on the back—during one of our fights. She thought it was amusing.”
“It sounds like you two hated each other!” Tomoe commented with wide green eyes.
He shook his head. “Hate is a very strong word, Tomo-chan. We just had some differences.”
“Do you still know that girl?” Yukari asked.
“I actually do still talk to her,” he admitted. “We talk regularly. And we still argue a lot.”
"Dad, you have a girlfriend!" Yukari yelped.
He grinned. "Well, not exactly."
Their elder daughter looked properly scandalized. “Does Mom know?”
“As a matter of fact, she does. Now I think you two should go finish your job and go clean up. You’re a mess!” He reached over and ruffled his younger daughter’s hair affectionately, creating a small dust-cloud in the middle of the kitchen. “Err…don’t tell your mother about the mess I just made, all right?”
Giggling and chattering about the story, they headed back towards their assigned task.
Heiji smiled as he watched the two children skip out of the room before turning back to his paper. A moment later, he heard soft footsteps padding up behind him; arms slid around his neck in a loose hug. “What was that all about?” Kazuha asked gently, leaning her cheek against his temple.
He reached out and picked up the picture and showed it to her; she took it with one hand for closer examination. “Nothing, really. I was just telling the girls about this old picture.”
Kazuha chuckled and gave him a squeeze. “What did you tell them?”
“Oh, they wanted to know who the girl in the picture was, and I told them how she and I always used to fight and argue and such when we were kids, and how I always won,” he said cheerily. “I even told them how it went on through our high school years. But I didn’t tell them her name.”
“So I’m guessing that you also didn’t tell them that you married her.”
“Of course not,” he said. “Gotta save something to traumatize them with when they’re older.”
“A picture really is worth a thousand words, isn’t it?” Kazuha observed.
“Yeah—and I think you were yelling all of them at me in that.” He pointed at the picture as he made the jibe, and accepted the light smack on the head he received as punishment, courtesy of his wife.
PS. Ah, randomness. Was originally going to go in a completely different direction, but I thought this was a little bit cuter. I like the idea. Thanks for reading, everyone. Much love!